Lauren Yee and Jackie Sibblies Drury Receive 2019 Steinberg Playwright Awards at the 12th Annual “Mimi” Awards

Awards, Photography, Theater

The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust honored Horton Foote Prize-winning playwright Lauren Yee and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury with the 2019 Steinberg Playwright Awards at the 12th Annual “Mimi” Awards on January 13, 2020 held at Lincoln Center Theater.

Jackie Sibblies Drury and Lauren Yee. Photo by Lia Chang

The “Mimi” Awards are presented annually to honor the outstanding artistry and accomplishments of some of the most gifted American Playwrights. Along with a monetary award of $50,000, the playwrights received “The Mimi,” a statuette designed by David Rockwell, Tony Award-nominated scenic designer and architect.

The Steinberg Playwright Awards are presented biennially to playwrights in early and middle stages of their careers, who have distinctive and compelling voices, and whose current bodies of work exhibit exceptional talent and artistic excellence.

2019 Steinberg Awards. Photo by Lia Chang

Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were served prior to the featured performances and award presentation. 


Jackie Sibblies Drury – 2019 Steinberg Playwright Award Honoree

Jackie Sibblies Drury. Photo by Lia Chang

FAIRVIEW -excerpt featuring Hannah Cabell, Natalia Payne, Jed Resnick, Luke Robertson, Roslyn Ruff and Heather Alicia Simms

Hannah Cabell, Luke Robertson, Heather Alicia Simms, Roslyn Ruff, Natalia Payne and Jed Resnick. Photo by Lia Chang

Oskar Eustis, The Public Theater
Steinberg Playwright Awards Advisory Committee

Oskar Eustis. Photo by Lia Chang

Sarah Benson, Soho Rep.
Raja Feather Kelly, Choreographer

Sarah Benson and Raja Feather Kelly. Photo by Lia Chang

Excerpt featuring Elaine Davis and Kaneza Schaal

Kaneza Schaal and Elaine Davis. Photo by Lia Chang

Jackie Sibblies Drury is a Brooklyn-based playwright. Her plays include Fairview (Pulitzer Prize, Susan Smith Blackburn Prize); Marys Seacole (OBIE Award);  We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as South West Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915 and Really. Drury’s plays have been presented by Young Vic, Soho Rep, Theater for a New Audience, LCT3, Berkeley Rep, New York City Players and Abrons Arts Center, Victory Gardens, Trinity Rep, Matrix Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, Undermain Theatre, InterAct Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Company One, and The Bush Theatre in London, among others. Her work has been developed at The Bellagio Center, Sundance, The Ground Floor, at Berkeley Rep, Manhattan Theatre Club, Ars Nova, A.C.T., Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, NYTW, PRELUDE, The Bushwick Starr, The LARK, and The MacDowell Colony. Drury is a NYTW Usual Suspect, a United States Artists Gracie Fellow, has received a Van Lier Fellowship at New Dramatists, a Jerome Fellowship at The LARK. Drury has received numerous prizes, including a Windham-Campbell Literary Prize in Drama, a Helen Merrill Playwrighting Award and a United States Artists Fellowship.

Sarah Benson, Raja Feather Kelly, Jackie Sibblies Drury. Photo by Lia Chang

Mark Drury and Jackie Sibblies Drury. Photo by Lia Chang

Jackie Sibblies Drury and her family. Photo by Lia Chang

Lauren Yee-2019 Steinberg Playwright Award Honoree

Excerpt featuring Jennifer Lim and Francis Jue.

Francis Jue. Photo by Lia Chang

Francis Jue and Jennifer Lim. Photo by Lia Chang

Francis Jue and Jennifer Lim. Photo by Lia Chang

Joshua Kahan Brody, Director

Joshua Kahan Brody. Photo by Lia Chang

Excerpt featuring Francis Jue, Abraham Kim, Jane Lai, Joe Ngo, Courtney Reed and Moses Villarama.

Abraham Kim, Moses Villarama, Courtney Reed, Chay Yew (Director of Cambodian Rock Band), Joe Ngo, and Jane Lui. Photo by Lia Chang

Abraham Kim, Moses Villarama, Courtney Reed, Chay Yew (Director of Cambodian Rock Band), Joe Ngo, and Jane Lui. Photo by Lia Chang

Francis Jue and Joseph Ngo. Photo by Lia Chang

Francis Jue and Joseph Ngo. Photo by Lia Chang

Joseph Ngo. Photo by Lia Chang

Lauren Yee is a playwright born and raised in San Francisco. She currently lives in New York City. Her CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND, with music by Dengue Fever and others, premiered at South Coast Rep, with subsequent productions at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, Victory Gardens, City Theatre, Merrimack Rep, Signature Theatre, Portland Center Stage, and Jungle Theatre.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Happy Hour In Celebration of Lauren Yee’s CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND at Signature Theatre on January 15 

Her play THE GREAT LEAP has been produced at Denver Center, Seattle Rep, Atlantic Theatre, the Guthrie Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre, Arts Club, InterAct Theatre, and Steppenwolf, with future productions at Long Wharf, Cygnet Theatre, and Asolo Rep/Miami New Drama.

Lauren Yee. Photo by Lia Chang

Lauren Yee’s play KING OF THE YEES premiered at The Goodman Theatre and Center Theatre Group, followed by productions at ACT Theatre, Canada’s National Arts Centre, and Baltimore Center Stage. Other plays include CHING CHONG CHINAMAN (Pan Asian Rep, Mu Performing Arts), THE HATMAKER’S WIFE (Playwrights Realm, Moxie, PlayPenn), HOOKMAN (Encore, Company One), IN A WORD (Young Vic, SF Playhouse, Cleveland Public, Strawdog), SAMSARA (Victory Gardens), THE SONG OF SUMMER (Trinity Rep, Mixed Blood), and THE TIGER AMONG US (Mu).

Lauren Yee. Photo by Lia Chang

She is the winner of the Doris Duke Artists Award, the Steinberg Playwright Award, Whiting Award, Steinberg/ATCA Award, Horton Foote Prize, the Kesselring Prize, American Academy of Arts and Letters literature award, the Francesca Primus Prize and a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton. She has been a finalist for the Edward M. Kennedy Prize and the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Her plays were the #1 and #2 plays on the 2017 Kilroys List.

Lauren Yee and Zachary Zwillinger. Photo by Lia Chang

Lauren is a Residency 5 playwright at Signature Theatre, New Dramatists member (class of 2025), Ma-Yi Writers’ Lab member, former Princeton University Hodder fellow, and Playwrights Realm alumni playwright. Her TV work includes Pachinko (Apple) and Soundtrack (Netflix). She is currently under commission from Geffen Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Portland Center Stage, Second Stage, South Coast Rep. She completed her BA at Yale and her MFA at UCSD.

Dr. Jeffrey I. Zwillinger, Claudia S. Zwillinger, Zachary Zwillinger and Lauren Yee. Photo by Lia Chang

In 2008, the Board of Directors created an advisory committee of prominent theater professionals to establish the awards criteria, nominate individual candidates and select each recipient.

Reception in the Vivian Beaumont Lobby

The 2019 Advisory Committee is comprised of Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director, Public Theater; Sarah Lunnie, Literary Director, Playwrights Horizons; Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director, Manhattan Theatre Club; Hana S. Sharif, Artistic Director, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis; Molly Smith, Artistic Director, Arena Stage; Kent Thompson, Theatre Director, Producer and Author; and Les Waters, Theatre Director.

Sloan Krumland , Ted Krumland, David Chang, Nadine Wong, Judith Grosz, Harold Wolpert, Morton Grosz, Carole Krumland, Frances Hill, Frank Yee. Photo by Lia Chang

The Board of Directors of The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust is made up of Susan Frunzi, Carole A. Krumland, James D. Steinberg, Michael A. Steinberg, Seth M. Weingarten, and William D. Zabel.

The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust was created by Harold Steinberg in 1986 in his name and the name of his late wife, Miriam. The Trust’s primary mission is to support and promote the American theater as a vital part of our culture by nurturing American playwrights, encouraging the development and production of new American plays, and by providing significant support to theater companies across the country. The trust has awarded over $125 million to more than 150 not-for-profit theater organizations.

2018 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award Winner Suzan-Lori Parks to Premiere WHITE NOISE at The Public in March 

Aasif Mandvi, Rajiv Joseph, J.T. Rogers, Nadine Malouf, Steven Pasquale, Chay Yew and More Celebrate 2017 Steinberg Honorees Ayad Akhtar and Lucas Hnath

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and Dominique Morisseau receive 2015 Steinberg Awards at the 8th Annual ‘Mimi’ Awards 

Photos: Ellen Burstyn, Baz Luhrmann, John Leguizamo, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Stephen McKinley Henderson, John Patrick Shanley, David Henry Hwang, Liza Colón-Zayas, Kenneth Lonergan and More Celebrate Stephen Adly Guirgis at The Mimi Awards
Photos: David Henry Hwang, Annie Baker and Rajiv Joseph honored at Sixth Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Award

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the filmsWolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman, Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. 

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